Friday, 10 June 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 39

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness was sponsored by one of our Tehillim group members in the merit of HaKadosh BaruchHu
I hope and pray that the thoughts are expressed in a way that will give inspiration to each lady reading it and prompt us to take the necessary action to give Nachas to Hashem and Unity to Am Yisrael.

In this week's Parsha, Hashem commands Moshe to speak to Aaron and tell him to light the Menorah. The word used in the Torah for lighting is not "Lehadlik" (to light) but rather "Beha'alotecha", from the word Aliya to go up.

Rashi explains the reason for the expression. The flame ascends (on its own accord), and that is why it is written that in lighting, the language used is Aliya – therefore you should light it until the flame goes up by itself. Therefore all you need to do is to hold the flame next to the candle and the candle will light itself.

In the old days, prior to electricity, there was a man whose role was to be a lamp lighter. He would go around with a torch, lighting the lamps along the way. In truth, every Jew is in fact a lamplighter. How do we become lamplighters? The Rebbe Rashab (the fifth Rebbe of Chabad) teaches that by first refining oneself, cleansing out the coarseness to such a degree that you can recognise the lamps that need to be lit; then you go ahead and light them.

How do you light the lamps or candles? As we learn from the Chumash, by holding the flame next to the wick and the candle will light itself. As the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught this means to provide the inspiration and information necessary for the Jew who needs lighting to take this and apply it to his own life, thus giving his candle the opportunity to light up.

A powerful story in the media this past week teaches us the extent to which we can all find the strength and ability to help another when the need arises or the desire is great enough.

A certain man heard a sound coming from a few doors away, and after a bit of investigation found that the loud commotion was coming from a group of people around a vehicle. On closer examination he discovered that a neighbour of his had been working on his 3700 pound van when the jack gave and the full weight of the van landed on the chest of the man doing the work.

The neighbour who had arrived at the scene, himself 6 foot 4 inches tall and large build, went to assist. Initially he was unable to budge the car. But as his adrenalin began to pump, he lifted the full front of the van enabling the man's son to pull him out. The effort of doing so caused the son to injure a muscle in his back and the father who had been under the van had sustained various fractures but now was able to begin his work of healing to regain his strength and return to functional life and living.

Even though this was a tall, strong man, still the van was 3700 pounds in weight. How did he achieve what he had? By using the additional strength given to him due to the adrenalin rush that occurs in a fight or flight situation; i.e. a situation of danger and applying it for the good. As he stated, he gave it all he had, and with super human effort succeeded in lifting this heavy vehicle thus saving the life of his neighbour.

As we move now from Shavuot towards Rosh HaShanah, let us keep these thoughts in mind and put in the effort to refine ourselves, so that we too can be the lamplighters to each and every Jew we come across.

As a final thought, The Lubavitcher Rebbe on a thought related to Lag B'Omer asks. He first reminds us that this is the time when the 24 000 students of Rebbe Akiva stopped dying – and so, to which Jew is the kind of respect fitting that these great Talmudei Chachamim, students of Rebbe Akiva lacked? We on the level we are today, struggle to comprehend how the students of a Tzaddik who taught to love every Jew like oneself, could possibly lack in showing respect to their fellow. Still, a powerful answer is given by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. To EVERY Jew, is this kind of respect worthy and fitting.

May we merit to learn Torah to such a degree as to refine ourselves sufficiently to light one another's lamps or to enhance the quality and beauty of the existing flame. May we exert super human effort in assisting our fellow Jew, all the time, not needing a crisis to inspire us to show an act of loving-kindness. May the unity and respect that develops from such progress as we prepare now for Rosh HaShanah, hasten the Final Geulah and enable each and every Jew to receive their Personal Geulah even this Shabbat.

The names for this week are found on our website

Shabbat Shalom


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